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Primary Sources Poster

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A poster providing the definition and some examples of primary sources.

Primary sources are original materials that are created at a specific time in history. They have not been changed or altered and provide direct or firsthand evidence about an event, person or object.

  • Artefacts: Coins, plant specimens, fossils, furniture, tools, clothing, objects from the period being studied.
  • Audio recordings: Radio programs
  • Diaries
  • Interviews: Oral histories, telephone, email.
  • Letters
  • Newspaper articles
  • Original documents: Birth certificates, wills, marriage certificates, trial transcripts.
  • Photographs
  • Records of organisations or government agencies: Annual reports, treaties, constitutions, government documents.
  • Speeches
  • Survey research: Market surveys, public opinion polls.
  • Audio recordings: Video programs.
  • Works of art, literature and music: Paintings, sculptures, musical scores, buildings, novels, poems.

A version with a white background is also included in the download.

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Australian Curriculum alignment

Humanities and Social Sciences > HASS > Foundation Year > Inquiry and skills > Researching > ACHASSI002
Collect data and information from observations and identify information and data from sources providedElaborationsexploring sources (for example, pictures, photographs, story books, artefacts, excursi...

Humanities and Social Sciences > HASS > Year 2 > Inquiry and skills > Researching > ACHASSI035
Collect data and information from observations and identify information and data from sources providedElaborationsidentifying information in sources relevant to learning about the past (for example, p...

Humanities and Social Sciences > HASS > Year 1 > Inquiry and skills > Researching > ACHASSI019
Collect data and information from observations and identify information and data from sources providedElaborationsexploring stories from the past and present about people and families (for example, fi...

Humanities and Social Sciences > HASS > Year 6 > Inquiry and skills > Researching > ACHASSI123
Locate and collect relevant information and data from primary sources and secondary sourcesElaborationsdetermining the most appropriate methods to find information (for example, personal observation, ...

Humanities and Social Sciences > HASS > Year 5 > Inquiry and skills > Researching > ACHASSI095
Locate and collect relevant information and data from primary sources and secondary sourcesElaborationsfinding information about the past in primary sources (for example, maps, stories, songs, music, ...

Humanities and Social Sciences > HASS > Year 4 > Inquiry and skills > Researching > ACHASSI074
Locate and collect information and data from different sources, including observationsElaborationsidentifying the types of sources suited to historical, geographical, civic and cultural inquiry and di...

Humanities and Social Sciences > HASS > Year 3 > Inquiry and skills > Researching > ACHASSI053
Locate and collect information and data from different sources, including observationsElaborationslocating sources suited to learning about the past (for example, photographs, interviews, newspapers, ...


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